Saturday, February 28, 2009

Debate over science funding in Arizona continues

The Arizona Legislature's elimination of funding for Science Foundation Arizona "will do irreparable damage to the state's efforts to build a science-and-technology-driven economy, and amounts to blindly aborting thousands of potentially high-paying Arizona technology jobs," according to an op-ed in today's Arizona Republic by James Gentile, President and CEO of the Tucson-based Research Corp.

This follows on contradictory public statements by SFA Board Chairman Don Budinger and legislators. Budinger is quoted in multiple news stories as saying there are discussions underway to reverse the elimination of the SFA's entire state funding of $22.5 million. According to the Capitol Times, "The Legislature adopted an amendment to the budget adjustment that said the money should be swept into the general fund regardless of whether it was encumbered, though Senate President Bob Burns afterward said he would seek an opinion from the Attorney General’s Office on whether the Legislature was allowed to do so."

But Rep. Sam Crump, who has been outspoken about cutting the SFA budget to meet state shortfalls, says there are no discussions going on and the budget is a done deal.

Meanwhile, SFA released a sponsored study by Battelle Institute that found Arizona is falling behind peer states in science and technology, with employment in those areas dropping more than twice as fast in Arizona as it did nationwide as the recession began.

1 comment:

  1. I hope not as well as news and says this is to retain these jobs in addition to betting on science and technology in Arizona